Las Vegas Sun

May 29, 2015

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State licenses new team at Tropicana

CARSON CITY – The Nevada Gaming Commission today approved the four-man team appointed to restore the fortunes of the bankrupt Tropicana hotel and casino in Las Vegas and its sister resorts.

Board member Arthur Marshall said the new management has “strong leadership” and a “chance to reassert itself.”

Scott Butera is now CEO of Tropicana Entertainment, replacing Bill Yung and his Columbia Sussex Corp. The goal of the team, Butera said, is to improve the performance of the Tropicana and 10 other casinos in New Jersey, Mississippi, Louisiana and Indiana.

“We want to get the right financing package in place,” he said Thursday.

The commission has licensed Butera as a member of the board of managers, Thomas M. Benninger as chairman of the board and Michael G. Corrigan and Bradford Smith as members of the board.

Butera said he will name a chief operating officer for the Strip property in September.

Tropicana filed for Chapter 11 protection in U.S. Bankruptcy Court earlier this year after it defaulted on nearly $2.7 billion in bonds. The new management team will have to submit their report early next year to the court on how the company will be restructured.

Butera said many of the note holders are large money firms in New York and they don’t want to get involved in the actual management.

On Wednesday, the new management team reached a tentative agreement with the Culinary Union covering the Tropicana in Las Vegas. Members of Culinary Local 226 and Bartenders Local 154 will vote to ratify the contract Friday.

Details of the contract were not disclosed. But it is reportedly similar to contracts at other Strip casinos.

The new Tropicana management team have submitted their background information to the state Gaming Control Board and commission to determine if they are suitable for permanent licensing.

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